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Parent Weekly Update – Week of September 28th, 2020

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. ~1 Cor 12:4-6

RECESS & LUNCH HOUR UPDATE

Now that we have been attending school for a few weeks, we have been able to access our recess break and lunch hour practices. Beginning this week, some adjustments to our ‘cohorting zones’, recess times and entrance/exit procedures will be made to improve instructional time blocks, provide meaningful outside breaks and maintain student safety protocols.

Moving forward, St. Peter CES will be divided into two groups (Grade 1 – 5 & Grade 6 – 8) for the purposes of cohorting during the lunch hour and recess breaks. In the morning and afternoon, students will have a snack break inside before going outside for a 15-minute recess period. The lunch hour will also be divided into two staggered sessions. One group of students will be eating their lunch inside while the other group is outside playing before the two groups switch. A transition period has been incorporated into the lunch hour to allow one group of students to re-enter the building before the other exits.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE

In the morning, Kindergarten (Gate 1) and Grade 7 & 8 (Door 2) students will report directly to their classes once they have arrived at school. Staff members will be supervising the student entry process and the students in the classrooms upon arrival. Grade 1 to 6 students will remain on the school yard in their designated zone as per past practice and will enter the school with their classroom teacher at bell time. Parents/guardians are not permitted on the school property and are requested to wear masks at arrival/departure times.

If students are late for any reason, they are to enter the school through the front door and go directly to their classes. The classroom teacher to notify the Main Office when the student arrives at the school.

Student dismissal procedures will begin approximately 10-minutes before the end of the day (3:25pm) to help maintain social distancing as students exit the building. Students must be wearing their masks until they have exited the building and must remain within their cohorts.

CIVVIES DAY: ORANGE SHIRT DAY

On Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 Canadians are encouraged to wear an orange shirt to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation and continuing the dialogue about residential schooling. The slogan for Orange Shirt Day is “Every Child Matters”.

We look forward to observing Orange Shirt Day at St. Peter CES this week with our students. This annual event started in 2013 to recognize the legacy of Residential school system for First Nations, Metis and Inuit families and communities. It is a show of support and understanding of the history of the school system that continues to impact many First Nations, Metis and Inuit people today.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Thank you to Stuffies 4 Smiles (the Loforte family) for their generous donation of 28 new backpacks that will help families and children in need as we begin this new school year. Their generous donations and the donations of others in our community are greatly appreciated. If you require a backpack, please email Mr. T. Demeris – demerist@hcdsb.org.

DAILY SELF-SCREENING

Parents and guardians must perform daily screening of their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving for school using the COVID-19 Self-Assessment.

  • Check your child’s temperature to ensure they do not have a fever (temperature greater than 37.8C)
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms (including atypical symptoms) of COVID-19
  • If any signs or symptoms, student and other household members must stay home, and the school must be contacted

The Government of Ontario has created an online tool to assist families with the daily self-screening process here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

As shared by the Ministry of Health, Halton Public Health, and our school board, if your child experiences any of the following symptoms they should not come to school and you should seek medical attention.

  • Fever (temperature of 37.8°C or greater)
  • New or worsening cough (not related to other known causes/conditions)
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. asthma)
  • Sore throat (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. allergies, acid reflux)
  • Runny or stuffy/congested nose (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. allergies, being outside in cold weather)
  • Chills
  • Decrease or loss of taste or smell (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. allergies, neurological disorders)
  • Pink eye (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. reoccurring sties)
  • Headache that’s unusual or long lasting (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. tension headaches, chronic migraines)
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, menstrual cramps)
  • Muscle aches that are unusual or long lasting (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. sudden injury, fibromyalgia)
  • Extreme tiredness or fatigue (not related to other known causes/conditions – e.g. depression, insomnia, thyroid dysfunction)
  • Sluggishness or lack of appetite (for young children)

It is important for your son/daughter to let their teacher know if they are feeling unwell at school. Students who show any of the above signs/symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be taken to our school’s designated ‘Isolation Room’ where they will be cared for and supervised until the parent/guardian can pick them up.

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR CHILD SHOWS SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 AT SCHOOL?

We recognize the impact that having to pick your child up from school can have on your work or personal day. However, we have clear and direct protocols to follow from our Public Health department. If you are called to pick up your child from school because they demonstrate one or more of the signs / symptoms of COVID-19, you must:

  • Seek medical advice, and get your child tested for COVID-19 as appropriate or advised by your health care provider
  • Your child should stay home from school and avoid contact with others as much as possible (including household members) until test results are received
  • If your child is assessed by your health care provider and cleared to return to school, he/she can return to school if it has been at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving.

Unless these steps are taken and appropriate documentation (note from a doctor) is provided, your child cannot return to school. This is to ensure the health and safety of all our students and staff members.

If you choose not to seek a medical assessment for your child, they must self-isolate for 14 days and it must be at least 24 hours since their symptoms started improving before returning to school.

The chart below summarizes the next steps for parents for students who demonstrate signs and symptoms of COVI-19:

RETURN TO SCHOOL PROTOCOL FOR STUDENTS/STAFF WITH COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

https://halton.ca/getmedia/bbaa9045-ac74-4284-85de-768c948b57ef/HE-COVID-19-Return-to-School-Protocol.aspx

POSSIBLE COVD-19 SYMPTOMS

Having trouble figuring out what to do if your child has possible symptoms of COVID-19 at home or at school? Here’s an up-to-date Q & A sheet that will clear up the confusion, from @haltonregion

https://halton.ca/getmedia/4678db75-c34f-41c7-90c0-e583c1cbcb34/HE-What-to-do-if-your-child-has-symptoms-COVID-19.aspx

CLEANING PROTOCOLS

Upon the return to school in September, St. Peter CES implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols throughout the school day. They include:

  • All high-touch points* will be disinfected twice daily or when visibly dirty 
  • Disinfectant wipes and no-touch disinfectant spray will be provided in the classroom for disinfection of high-touch items in the classroom throughout the day ​
  • Staff rooms will be cleaned daily in the evenings. Disinfectant wipes or no-touch disinfectant spray will be provided for intraday disinfection, as required ​
  • Gymnasiums will be disinfected between each class using the space
  • School libraries will only be used by staff and will be cleaned daily in the evenings Disinfectant wipes or no-touch disinfectant spray will be provided for intraday disinfection, as required​
  • Hand hygiene and disinfection station resources will be inspected daily and restocked as needed​

*High-touch points include doorknobs, light switches, push plates, panic bars, handrails, elevator buttons, faucet handles, flush handles, stall latches, product dispensers, paper towel dispensers, benches and bottle fillers.

CURRICULUM NIGHT UPDATE

Please note that our virtual Curriculum Night has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 15th, 2020. We will be provided more details once the plans for the evening have been finalized. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.

CLASS PICTURES POSTPONED

Edge Imaging is committed to maintaining student safety and will continue to closely monitor and comply with all Board and provincial orders related to COVID-19. Given the current safety measures in place, all school pictures have been postponed until further notice.

SWITCHING BEWTEEN REMOTE & IN-CLASS INSTRUCTION

On Thursday, September 24th, 2020 you should have received an email sent on behalf of our Director, Mr. Pat Daly, explaining the process for requesting a change to your child’s learning environment – either from face-to-face learning to online learning or from online learning back to face-to-face learning.

If you would like to request a change for your child, the form will be open until Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 11:59:59pm. Only complete the form if you would like to change your child’s current learning environment. Please note that you must complete a separate form for each of your children.

If we have a significant number of students switching either to face-to-face or online instruction this may result in St. Peter CES having to restructure our current classroom placements and may result in your child moving classrooms and/or changing teachers. It is also important to note that if you move your child from in-school learning to online learning, we cannot guarantee that they will return to the same class and teacher should you wish to return them to school later in the school year.

If you have any questions about the process or the learning environments, please refer to the email or contact Mr. T. Demeris – demerist@hcdsb.org

ST. PETER CES CHILDCARE ADDITION UPDATE

As you know, St. Peter Catholic CES Childcare addition designed by MC Architects has begun. The new childcare addition will include five (5) childcare rooms and a naturalized playground. The estimated completion is currently March 2021.

For regular updates, please visit the following link: https://schoolplanning.hcdsb.org/st-peter-project/

This week, construction crew continued setting the footings for the childcare structure. It should be no time before we begin to see the structure emerging from the ground up. Also, our Kindergarten Yard began its final restructuring of which there are several upgrades to share with families. Please see the comprehensive list below:

  1. Large artificial turf hill with triangular sail for immediate shade cover
  2. New classroom area: chalkboard with both permanent and adjustable seating for increased outdoor learning capacity
  3. Artificial turf around play posts for improved accessibility and durability
  4. Play posts to be better positioned for a variety of functions: shade cover, balancing activities and dramatic play
  5. A vertical log border for additional gross motor opportunities
  6. A new chain-link gate at the front of the play space to improve access throughout the day, particularly to north Kindergarten rooms
  7. Two new stock tanks for future staff-lead planting opportunities
  8. Replacement of declining plant material, including ‘autumn blaze’ maple trees to reflect school colours

SCHOOL UNIFORM REMINDERS

The standard dress code at St. Peter CES is our daily school uniform supplied by In-School Wear – ISW.

  1. ISW tops with school logo are to be worn daily.
  2. ISW navy blue bottoms are to be worn daily. Pants are to be worn at the waist. Undergarments should not be visible.
  3. Closed-toe shows are required. Running shoes cannot leave black marks in the gym.
  4. Physical education clothing should provide appropriate coverage for comfortable, modest and safe movement during activities. Clothing which is either too loose or too tight is not recommended.
  5. Caps/hat are not to be worn indoors.

The designated ISW Uniforms location for St. Peter CES is located at 720 Nipissing Road (rear), Milton.

For more information, please visit: https://www.iswuniforms.com/

FROM THE ESL DESK…Care with Translating Sites

If personalization to a document is needed or students are translating writing pieces, there are free online translation sites. You can find sites such as, Google Translate or Babelfish easy to use. However, be careful because the translation may not be thorough. Think about the vast amount of multiple meaning words in the English language. With free sites, there is no guarantee that your message has been translated as intended. In addition, some programs give you a transliteration, or word-for-word translation, which may not take into account the different word order and syntax of other language. This can result in a message that is mixed up and hard to read. If you do use these sites, simplify your message (who, what, when, where) and use basic sentences. Avoid idiomatic expressions, multiple meaning words, slang, and figurative language.

CLASS LISTS FOR IN-SCHOOL INSTRUCTION

Class lists have now been finalized. Please note that due to the timing and complexity of the process this year, we will not be able to accommodate requests for changes to class placement. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

LUNCH TIME SUPERVISOR POSITION

Our school requires additional lunch time supervisors. This is a paid position that involves supervising our students, inside and outside, from 12:05 pm to 1:05pm daily. If you or someone you know is interested in a part-time employment opportunity, please contact the Main Office as soon as possible.

MASKS

Students from K – Grade 8 are required to wear a mask at school. Face shields may be worn in addition to masks but notas a substitute. During outdoor recess breaks children are not required to wear their mask, however, they may choose to wear it. All students have been provided with a plastic bag/storage container to store their mask at their desk when not in use. We promote proper hand hygiene when “donning and doffing” masks – putting masks on and taking them off. Our goal is to prevent cross-contamination and to preserve the integrity of the mask for your child’s safety. Families should consider providing an additional mask for children in case a back-up mask is needed during the day and to facilitate every day washing of a cloth mask. Please review Halton Region Tip sheet for use of Non-Medical Masks.

Thank you for reinforcing the importance of wearing masks with your children. Everyone is doing an excellent job following this protocol, we are so proud of our students, and we are grateful to you for your support. We kindly request that parents wear masks when dropping off or picking up their children. It can be a challenge to maintain a 2 meter distance from others, so we appreciate your co-operation in keeping everyone safe.

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CHILD DURING THE SCHOOL DAY 

Parents/guardians are reminded that to contact your child during the school day to either contact the Main Office or to email your child’s teacher. Please refrain from texting your child on their device, as students are expected to only use electronic devices (e.g., phones, Apple watches, Fitbit, iPads, etc..) to access curriculum.

VISITOR PROTOCOL

This school year, in an effort to minimize contacts and help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, we are limiting visitor access to our school.   

All visitors, including parents and HCDSB staff who are not assigned to our school, will require approval and pre-screening before entering our building. Only visits that are deemed essential will be approved (e.g. visits by the Fire Marshal’s office, Public Health). Where possible, meetings or visits will be conducted virtually.  

Visitors who are granted approval will be required to complete an online screening form prior to arriving at our school. Once inside, all visitors will be required to wear masks. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do all we can to ensure a safe and healthy return to school for all.   

YEARBOOK

There are still 2019 – 2020 yearbooks available for purchase. The cost is $25.00 and families can purchase them through the Cash Online System.

PETS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY

Although we love our four-legged friends, some of our children have severe allergies and are frightened by an encounter with a dog. Our school board prohibits dogs on school property for the protection of our students, as well as, for the protection of your pet. Please help do your part by remaining off the school property if you choose to your dog before/after school. Thank you to all the families that we have approached this year for your understanding of this protocol. Of note, the walkway between the main school yard and the soccer field is not considered part of our ‘cohorting zones’, but we are asking if parents/guardians could keep their pets away from this area as well as there is typically a large number of families dropping-off and picking-up their children in this space. Thank you!

BICYCLE SAFETY

It is wonderful to see so many of our students are riding their bikes to school. If your children ride their bicycles to school, we remind you to ensure that their bicycles are roadworthy, that your children are familiar with the rules of the road, and that their bicycles conform to local municipal by-laws with respect to licensing, operation and equipment. All students need to wear helmets when riding a bicycle. They must ride them to the edge of school property and then walk their bike to the bike rack which is not situated in the middle part of the backyard of the school.

STUDENT CORNER – National Day Calendar

This week we have some exciting days you might want to celebrate and it’s the start of October already.

The National Days for this week are…

September 27th: National Chocolate Milk Day, National Crush a Can Day, National Scarf Day and International Daughters Day

September 28th: National Good Neighbour Day and National Strawberry Cream Pie Day

September 29th: National Coffee Day

September 30th: Orange Shirt Day, National Love People Day, National Chewing Gum Day and National Hot Mulled Cider Day

October 1st: National Homemade Cookies Day

October 2nd: National Name Your Car Day

October 3rd: There are no days for October 3rd so make up your own!

Have an amazing week everyone!

PROMOTING WELL-BEING: Family Meal Time

How do family meals impact children’s health?

Eating meals as a family is linked to better food choices and healthier weights in children. Children who regularly sit down to eat dinner with their family eat more vegetables and fruit and less fried foods, sweets, salty snacks and pop.

On the other hand, children who eat in front of the TV tend to eat fewer vegetables and fruit and more fatty foods and pop. Eating in front of the TV can also lead to overeating and a higher risk of being overweight.

Why eat together?

Tradition: Sharing meals with children helps pass along family and cultural traditions about food.

Comfort and security: Children who regularly eat meals with their family feel secure knowing when they will eat.

Learning: Sharing meals and helping with preparation helps children learn more about food. Parents are also important roles models who help children learn about how to make healthy food choices.

Communication: Sharing meals gives the family time to talk and share information about their day.

Tips on planning family meals

Make a plan. Meals should be quick and nutritious. Plan your busy weeknight meals ahead of time and buy the foods you need early in advance. Having a plan and the foods on hand when you need them can reduce mealtime stress and last minute trips to the store.

Be flexible with meal timing. When children are involved in sports or programs during mealtimes, plan to eat your meals when most of the family can be there. You can also take a breakfast, lunch or dinner as a “meal-to-go” and eat at the park, arena, pool or gym.

Involve kids in meal preparation. Kids who help make a meal are more likely to enjoy it and eat it too!

Be a good role model. Plan to serve healthy foods and have your kids see you eat them too. The more times your child sees you eating healthy foods, the more likely they will accept them.

Turn the TV off. Enjoy eating and talking with your family at mealtimes.

The bottom line: Families that eat together eat better! Eating meals together promotes healthier food choices and weights in children. Parents should provide a family meal environment that supports healthful eating. That means eating together and turning off the TV! www.unlockfood.ca

GENERAL INFORMATION

We will continue to share information and updates with parents directly through email.

Updates will also be posted on the Return to School Plan website and through the Board’s social media channels:   

 You can also review our FAQs online for more information about the return to school.

TWITTER

Follow us on Twitter @stpetersmilton

Elementary PrincipalParent Weekly Update – Week of September 28th, 2020